No. 9 Stanford overpowers No. 4 Xavier 89-52

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No. 9 Stanford overpowers No. 4 Xavier 89-52

Dec. 28, 2010
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STANFORD,Calif. (AP) Tara VanDerveer sent her players home for a short holidaybreak with a scouting report DVD. Her players sure showed up as ifthey'd studied the film and then some.Bring on unbeaten Connecticut.Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 23 points and11 rebounds and No. 9 Stanford pulled off a surprising rout offourth-ranked Xavier with an 89-52 victory Tuesday for its 51ststraight home win.What a tuneup for Thursday's highly anticipated showdown with top-ranked UConn."This was a real important game forour team," VanDerveer said. "I'm really proud of how everyone prepared.Everyone really knew what we needed them to do and they came out anddid it."Jeanette Pohlen added 19 points, ninerebounds, six assists and three steals and Kayla Pedersen had 14 pointsfor the Cardinal (8-2), who beat the third-seeded Musketeers in theSacramento Regional last March when Pohlen drove the length of thefloor in 4.4 seconds and scored the game-winning layin as time expiredfor a 55-53 victory. That win sent Stanford back to its third straightFinal Four. The play was shown over and over again on the highlightreels.This game lacked any such drama.Amber Harris had 18 points and ninerebounds for cold-shooting Xavier (10-2), which lost its secondstraight game after a 10-0 start.Special Jennings had 12 points andTa'Shia Phillips grabbed 12 rebounds for the overmatched Musketeers,who were coming off a 46-45 defeat at Duke on Dec. 21 for their firstloss of the season. They committed 30 turnovers and shot 38 percent inthat game, then didn't look much better in shooting 30 percent againstStanford."They won that game in the firstfour minutes. They came out with a lot of energy and a lot of intensityand we were kind of on our heels," Jennings said. "We just didn't showup today. I don't know what else to say. We did not play the way we arecapable, and the way we are known to play."The Cardinal came out with energy onboth ends of the floor in their first game since VanDerveer became thesixth women's coach to get 800 wins with a 100-45 victory over formerStanford stars turned coaches Jennifer Azzi and Katy Steding at SanFrancisco last Wednesday.Next up: UConn on Thursday night atsold-out Maples Pavilion. It's a rematch of last year's NCAAchampionship won 53-47 by the Huskies after Stanford led 20-12 athalftime."It's coming and we're veryexcited," VanDerveer said. "This is December and I think we're reallymaking great progress. For us to have played who we've played, I feellike we've played a brutal schedule. With the exception of USF we'vehad to work really hard, and I think that will pay off for us Thursdayand pay off for us in the Pac-10. Our team will be focused. They willbe ready. I know they will have a great effort and we will learn moreabout our team."The Cardinal are the last team to beat the Huskies, in the 2008 national semifinals in Tampa, Fla.UConn was set to play later Tuesdayat Pacific in Stockton going for its 90th straight victory in what wasexpected to be a lopsided warmup for the game with Stanford."Today we came out and we were sofocused and we were very aggressive," Pedersen said. "We're going tohave to be even more aggressive than we were today. Going into halftimewe're going to have to keep the momentum and come out in the secondhalf and be the aggressor."Stanford held a 44-41 reboundingadvantage against the imposing front line featuring the 6-foot-6Phillips and 6-5 Harris - who combined for 34 rebounds in the loss toDuke. But Harris, the team's leading scorer at 20.2 points per game,wasn't in the starting lineup Tuesday after sitting out Monday'spractice as a medical precaution after she was hit against Duke andsuffered concussion-like symptoms. Harris checked in at the 16:26 mark,started the second half and wound up 6 for 11 from the floor.Freshman Chiney Ogwumike added 10points, five rebounds and four steals for Stanford, which committedonly eight turnovers while forcing 17.Xavier missed its first 10field-goal tries before Katie Rutan hit a 3-pointer at the 13:49 markof the first half. The Musketeers went 2 for 18 from 3-point range inthe game and began 5 for 21 to fall behind 37-24 at halftime. Phillipsdidn't score her first points until a basket with 7:11 left in theopening half.Ogwumike had 15 points and eightrebounds by halftime, including making 5 of 5 free throws. Stanford gotto the line 11 times and converted 10.The Musketeers didn't look all thatinspired considering the way the tournament game ended. Xavier's DeeDee Jernigan missed two wide-open layins in the closing 12 seconds thatlikely would have sent the Musketeers to San Antonio for their firstFinal Four - but they watched as Pohlen won it instead.Last season's meeting in the NCAA tournament was the only other matchup between these programs.

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

MESA, Ariz. — The A’s are excited about 2016 top pick A.J. Puk, that much was apparent by the crowd the lefty attracted for his first “live” bullpen session Tuesday.

Among those watching closely were executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, general manager David Forst, manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Curt Young.

Puk, who shaved about 20 pounds off his 6-foot-7 frame over the winter, looked strong against a group of hitters that included touted infield prospects Franklin Barreto and Yairo Munoz.

Melvin in particular liked the way Puk, the No. 6 overall pick out of the University of Florida, worked his curve ball into the mix. That’s a pitch he hadn’t used since high school, but he dusted it off back in the fall instructional league with some encouragement from minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson, and he’s working to sharpen it this spring as a complement to his fastball, slider and changeup.

“It’s just nice to have another pitch that’s slower than my other three pitches,” Puk said before Tuesday’s workout.

“It’s a four-pitch mix,” Melvin said. “He’s really starting to distinguish between this slider and curve ball. It was quite a crowd around his cage too. When you’re a young kid you tend to notice that, but I thought he responded really well.”

Puk, 21, is rooming with shortstop Richie Martin, a teammate at Florida whom the A’s made their top pick in 2015. They also lived near each other in Tampa this offseason and worked out together.

Puk comes off very quiet upon meeting him, but Martin warns against being fooled.

“It takes him a while, but once he feels comfortable he’ll break out. You’ll see.”

Melvin was impressed with Puk’s physical shape, saying he’s fielded his position well in pitchers’ fielding drills.

CAMP BATTLE Jesse Hahn will start the A’s Cactus League opener Saturday against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs. It’ll be a chance for Hahn to make an early impression in his bid for the fifth starter spot.

“After the year he had (in 2016), it’s important for him this year. We have to show some faith in him,” Melvin said. “He performed well for us the year before. Last year wasn’t really consistent. We’ll try to get him out there and get him off to a good start.”

Kendall Graveman will take the ball in Sunday’s spring home opener against the Angels. Sonny Gray and Sean Manaea both will pitch Monday against the Giants and Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs will be among the group throwing Tuesday against the Indians.

PROSPECT WATCH: Sean Murphy, the A’s third-round pick in June, has shown a very strong throwing arm early in camp. Is it any wonder Melvin, an ex-catcher, was impressed?

“The kid can throw, it’s special,” Melvin said. “We really like him.”

NOTEWORTHY: Still no word on when reliever Santiago Casilla will arrive at camp from the Dominican Republic. Melvin said he isn’t concerned at this stage, and noted that Casilla has been working out at the team’s complex in the Dominican Republic and gave a motivational talk to the younger players there.

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

The Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, prompting the All-Star big man to post a heartfelt message on his Instagram account.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. 
#LoyaltyisLove #sactownkingforever

Cousins, 26, averaged 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.3 blocks and 34.4 minutes per game for the Kings this year.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. #LoyaltyisLove

A post shared by DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) on